‘Listeners, I have a story that may interest you…’
Kaya speaks these words in Story Magic. Despite her village preventing girls from casting, Kaya indeed gets it done! When her brother goes missing, Kaya relies on quick thinking as she travels through unfamiliar land. With the help of stories, of course!
Today I’m here with Laurel Gale, the author of Story Magic. She shares her writing process, as well as the awesome gift of writing strong, magical female characters! You’ll certainly be excited to pick up your copy!
‘Story Magic’ Book Information
Story Magic by Laurel Gale
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Release Date: October 27, 2020
Girls are forbidden to practice story magic. Only bad things happen when they do. Everyone knows this, but that doesn’t stop twelve-year-old Kaya A’Dor from learning the basics from her older brother Hob. The trick is to sense a listener, one of the magical beings that inhabit the world, and tell it a story. If the listener likes the story, it will allow the storyteller to work magic.
Although Kaya knows the risks, she attempts a little story magic to impress Hob. When Hob is taken prisoner in Prima, the faraway capital city, Kaya is convinced it’s her fault. Either because someone discovered what she was doing, or because the bad luck has found her.
Desperate to save her brother, Kaya will do anything to make it to Prima, including story magic. With each story she tells her ability to wield story magic grows. She soon begins to wonder if her brother’s imprisonment was really her fault or something else entirely. Thus, each story brings her one step closer to finding Hob and leaving everything she’s ever known behind.
‘Story Magic’ Author Info
Laurel Gale writes books for children. Her middle grade novels include Dead Boy and Story Magic. She lives with her husband and their ferrets in Washington. In addition to writing, she enjoying hiking, playing board games, and reading. She loves animals and is easily distracted by squirrels.
Visit Laurel online through her Website or Twitter.
Author Q & A
1. Cathleen: How are you and your family during this time? I think we’re all ready for 2020 to end!
Laurel Gale: Thanks for asking! We’re doing well, but yes, we’re ready for 2020 to end.
2. C: Congratulations on the release of Story Magic! It’s such a heartfelt story!
LG: Aww, thanks! I’m super excited to share this book with everyone.
3. C: How did your love for writing begin?
LG: It’s hard to say because I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember! It started with poems and short stories when I was a kid. I’ve always loved to read, and I’ve always found that writing is the most natural way for me to express my ideas. I’m happiest when I’m writing something.
4. C: What inspired you to create ‘Story Magic’?
LG: Story Magic started with the magic system. I was talking to my husband and how magic systems are used in fiction, and this sparked an idea for a magic system based on storytelling. From there, I came up with the main character and the listeners, and the rest followed.
5. C: Kaya is truly fearless in her use of magical storytelling. What made you create such an empowering character?
LG: Kaya is very brave, but at the same time, she does experience quite a bit of fear. I think that’s what makes her empowering – she pushes past her fear to do what’s right. That’s certainly something I aspire to.
6. C: While searching for her brother, Kaya faces many harsh truths in society. She goes through many growing pains!
LG: She starts off being a bit naïve, but she learns so much on her journey. This can be hard for her, but she finds her inner strength and grows. I think this is something a lot of middle grade readers can relate to. Even if they’re not going on magical adventures, they are learning more about the world at that age.
7. C: I love how Kaya sticks to her intuition throughout the book. Is she created after a particular figure in your life?
LG: I didn’t base Kaya on any particular person. I wanted to make her a realistic twelve-year-old who has a lot of doubts and sometimes messes up, but who is also very strong and tries to do the right thing.
8. C: Themes such as girl power and fighting intolerance are strong in ‘Story Magic’. Have you always wanted to carry this message in your writing?
LG: In Story Magic, only members of the Story Magicians Guild are allowed to practice story magic, and girls are never allowed to join the guild. This is a way for the guild to control who has power. I don’t think I could have done this concept justice without exploring themes of girl power and tolerance.
When I write a book, my main goal is to tell an entertaining story, but I think the message matters, too. Kindness, fairness, courage, and tolerance are important themes in my writing because those are important ideas in life.
9. C: Which authors inspire your work? It can be Middle Grade, YA, etc.
LG: There are so many amazing writers out there, and I think it’s important for writers to read widely.
When I was kid, I was obsessed with Christopher Pike books, and I think that’s where I really developed my taste for speculative fiction. Neil Gaiman has also been an inspiration.
10: C: What advice do you have for those starting their writing career?
LG: Persistence is key. I think a lot of new writers feel like they have to get published immediately, but it’s not a race. I spent a few years and wrote several manuscripts before I got my first book deal, and looking back, I’m glad those early manuscripts were never published. I still trunk manuscripts occasionally.
It takes time to learn the craft of writing, and not everything you try will work. Just keep pushing yourself to be better, and if you really want to make a career out of writing, focus on your long-term goals.
Also, please don’t feel like you’ve wasted your time on something just because you never publish it. As long as you’re learning and improving, you’re not wasting your time. You wouldn’t expect a musician to start performing concerts immediately! It takes practice to master any skill that’s worthwhile, and that’s normal.
Thank you, Laurel, for your time! ‘Story Magic’ is certainly thrilling! It’s available today, so get your copy! You won’t be disappointed!